“He did it last night.”
I will never forget those words. ‘He did it’ meant he hung himself from the rafters in his mother’s garage, one month shy of his 21st birthday.
It’s not like I didn’t see it coming. I did. We all did. The depression. The weight loss. It was all there.
And I couldn’t even touch it. That’s the killer for those of us left behind. That no matter how much you love someone, it isn’t enough.
I couldn’t make it better for him. None of us could. I was there and there and there and loved and listened and talked until my ears were red and lips were blue. I even told him I worried about him killing himself. “I’d never do that,” he promised.
One week later he did.
It was March 25, 1974. Forty years ago. I’ll never forget.
He was my first love. And the bravest boy that ever lived.
Good-bye, Ray. Again. All I have ever known about this is that your pain in living was far worse than my heartbreak at your death.